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Old 03-09-2008, 10:03 PM   #1
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Default To boil or not to boil? - can kit

Hi,

My last few batches with can kits, iv always added the can kit, a few litres boiling water, and malt extract straight to the fermenter. Then I mix for few min, and water, pitch yeast and away ya go.

I read in book "Beer For Dummies" to boil the can kit extract, powder malt etc in a pot with water for an hour.

Does this improve things?

Many thanks

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Old 03-09-2008, 10:11 PM   #2
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You need to boil for a few reasons... To coagulate the proteins in your extract, to sterilize, to extract the alpha acidity in your hops and probable a few other huge reasons.

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Old 03-09-2008, 10:13 PM   #3
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You can make better beer by boiling unhopped malt extract with hops yourself. If you boil a no-boil kit, you'll have to add new flavour/aroma hops yourself, because the volatile aromatic compounds will have been driven off.

I don't have experience with these kits, though.

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Old 03-09-2008, 10:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai
You can make better beer by boiling unhopped malt extract with hops yourself. If you boil a no-boil kit, you'll have to add new flavour/aroma hops yourself, because the volatile aromatic compounds will have been driven off.

I don't have experience with these kits, though.
Thanks for your response. One other thing the book says is many people leave the wort too long in primary. It recommends 7-10 days then goto secondary, else the yeast mite eat each other (forget the term).
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi_Jonno
Thanks for your response. One other thing the book says is many people leave the wort too long in primary. It recommends 7-10 days then goto secondary, else the yeast mite eat each other (forget the term).
You might have to worry about autolysis if you leave your wort on the trub for a couple months or more. Three or four weeks is fine.

Geek time! The yeast doesn't eat each other but the enzymes in dead or dying yeast will cause the cells to "digest" themselves. Then the dead yeast release toxins that kill the rest of healthy yeast still present. After this happens you have a pile of stinky yeast carcasses. I've left wort in the primary a long time and have never had this problem but it can happen.
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:19 PM   #6
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What type of kit are you using? Muntons and Coopers kits (for eg) have already been boiled and don't require further boiling, boiling can be detrimental to kits like this reducing hop flavour and aroma.

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Old 03-09-2008, 11:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi_Jonno
Thanks for your response. One other thing the book says is many people leave the wort too long in primary. It recommends 7-10 days then goto secondary, else the yeast mite eat each other (forget the term).
Really the only way to truly tell if fermentation is done is with a few readings over a period of 3 days using a hydrometer. But if you don't have one, then leave it in primary for 2 weeks to make sure.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAAB
What type of kit are you using? Muntons and Coopers kits (for eg) have already been boiled and don't require further boiling, boiling can be detrimental to kits like this reducing hop flavour and aroma.
Not to mention, darkening your beer.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAAB
What type of kit are you using? Muntons and Coopers kits (for eg) have already been boiled and don't require further boiling, boiling can be detrimental to kits like this reducing hop flavour and aroma.
Am about to brew a Muntons Premium Lager Can, with BrewCraft #15 Lager Enhancer (dextrose, malt ext, corn syrup), and Saflager dry lager yeast.

Am wondering if its best to boil the can kit/extract first or not? The can says to add can to fermenter, but book says with cans its best to boil in pot for an hour.

Also with this yeast (its not can yeast its a lager yeast), should I sprinkle it ontop like it says, or put in warm water firt for ten min?

Sorry lots of questions....
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:23 AM   #10
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Muntons kits don't require boiling, just pour the extract into the fermenter, rinse out the tin with some boiling water, top up to with in a few quarts of the intended volume with fresh cold water (if it comes from the tap make sure you have treated it for chlorine and chloramines by adding 1/2 a crushed campden tablet to it and stiring it in, a second fermenter bucket is useful for this or by passing it through a granular activated carbon filter first). Mix in your beer kit enhancer adding it slowly and stirring to avoid clumps then check the temperature and top up to your final volume with either boiling or cold water as required to adjust the temperature of that stated in the instructions.

As for the yeast, most if not all Muntons kits come with an ale yeast for convenience. If it does i'd expect the suggested temperature range to be around 64-75 or so.

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